When you make your own candles, there is some potential risk for problems to happen. Most noticeably, you can burn yourself. In rare situations there is also a potential for a fire. Although this is unlikely to happen, one should always have a fire extinguisher in their home anyway especially in the kitchen.
Chances are you will have no problems making your candles. Making and using candles involves some common sense. I am happy to say that you don’t need a PhD in Common Sense to make candles, but here is my dissertation on candle safety.
Please know that dissertation doesn’t mean having dessert before making candles. Instead, dissertation is the document a person writes in order to obtain a PhD.
So here is my dissertation on candle safety…
- Wax can catch fire when it is heated at high temperatures. Therefore, it is always best to heat wax using medium low heat.
- It is best to heat wax in double boiler. If you don’t have a double then you can use a can and place it inside a small pot.
- Wear oven mitts when dealing with hot items.
- Don’t heat the wax and then walk away while still heating the wax. Be aware of distractions that can distract youfrom performing this job in a safe manner. For example, when I am heating wax I will not answer the phone. If the phone rings then I let it ring and the person can leave a message. I won’t leave the stove area. If you do have to leave the stove area while heating wax then make sure you turn off the heat and remove the pot from the stove.
- If you have cats, make sure they don’t jump onto the stove while you are heating wax and be careful that the cats stay out of your way. The last thing we want is your candle to be your cat with its tail as the wick.
- Be aware of children when making candles. For the most part candles are really safe to make and many children help their parents make candles. We don’t need to be concerned about the children that are helping as they are aware of what is happening. Of course, you still need to make sure a child that is helping you is safe; but, the real concern is the children that aren’t aware of what you are doing and go running through the kitchen as you are making your candles.
- Turn the pot handle backwards so it doesn’t stick out over the floor. This way you won’t accidentally knock the pot onto the floor and no child can hit the pot or reach for the pot to see what is in it.
- As previously mentioned, there should be no problems with a fire but there is always the possibility that a fire can happen. The chances are slim but you always need to be prepared for the worst case scenario. Therefore, make sure you have a fire extinguisher on hand. The fire extinguisher should be suitable for kitchen use. If you don’t have a fire extinguisher then make sure you have the lid for the pot so you can smother the fire. Additionally baking soda can be used to smother a fire. If there is a fire, do not use water to put the fire out. Water will only spread the fire. Water should never be used on any type of oil or gas fire.
- Do not pour wax down the drain. If you pour it down the drain then you will essentially clog your drain and then you will need to hire a plumber.
- It’s a good idea to spread aluminum foil over your work area. This allows you to easily peel off any spilled wax. You can then reuse this wax in your next project.
- If you have any wax leftover, put it into a bowl that is covered with wax paper. Let it cool. You can then reuse the wax in another project.
- If you have long hair, make sure you tie it back. You may also want to wear a hair net so no hairs go into your candle. You will also want to make sure you have no loose jewelry dangling.
- Keep your thermometer in the boiling wax at all times so you know what the temperature is. If the wax gets too close to the flash point, usually about 150º C or 300º F, immediately remove the wax from the heat source.
- Candles are best stored wrapped in wax paper. You can also place your candles in a box and if you do this, then make sure the box is lined with wax paper.
- Candles should be stored away from both heat and sunlight.
- Make sure any candles that you make are secure and firmly held in place. We don’t want a lit candle to fall over. Many times I like to make my candles in old jam jars to prevent this problem from happening.
- Never leave a lit candle unattended! Always be aware of where children are when the candles are lit or are still hot. Keep matches away from children.
- Do not put candles near anything flammable. Additionally, keep candles away from sources of heat like a fireplace or heater. Please remember, there are only 3 ingredients needed for a fire to start. Those 3 ingredients are heat, oxygen and fuel.
- For obvious reason, make sure you do not reach over a lit candle.
- Avoid having candles that burn all the way down to the end of their wicks. Extinguish the candle before this happens.